When the word ‘Necromancy’ pops up, a very specific image pops into the mind. It is always having to do with human bones and spirits. While that is the most popular application for necromancy, it goes far beyond that. Its use spans into working with all dead things, both human and non-human. One of the most applicable necromantic methods in modern times is animal necromancy. The ability to work with animal dead is useful one for a witch to have. I’ve often been posed with the question: “I’ve found some animal bones, but what can I do with them?” The first thing to consider is sanitation and legality. Is it legal for you to own these bones? Do you know what animal they came from? In certain states, it is illegal to own the pelts, feathers, bones, antlers, etc of certain animals. Always double check your local laws. Sanitation wise, you should pick up your bones with bags and gloves. If they are only bone with no flesh left, rinse them with water and soak them in peroxide for about three days depending on the size of the bones. If they have flesh left, your best bet is to bury it in a burlap bag. It gives minimal damage to the bones and will clean them completely. It is also the slowest process. It can take several months. When they are simply bone, you can do the peroxide treatment to them. Cold water maceration and simmering is an option, but it is rather unpleasant and smelly. I don’t recommend it, especially if you live with other people.
Now, after all that, you’re left with clean, legal bones. First thing to do is introduce yourself. Let the spirit know who and what you are. Get to know the spirit residing in the bones. The spirit may not be as potent in a femur in comparison to a skull. The skull is the spirit’s house. You may find that the spirit is quite upset and riled up. If it was shot, hit by a vehicle, or killed by a person, it may be less than welcoming to you. If this is the case, you have to soothe it. Burn tobacco for it. Give it pomegranates and apples. Give it food (not always the food we would eat). If it cannot be soothed, and you’ll know if it can’t, then you have two options. One is to put the bones back where you found them. Leave them there and forget you ever touched them. The other is to remove the spirit from the bones. As you would banish a spirit from a house, you would banish the spirit from the bone. It is to remove all power left in the bone and leave it nothing more than a length of calcium. It can, however, be inhabited by another spirit of the same kind of animal. Assuming the spirit was able to be soothed, you will continue working with it. The next thing to do is ask the spirit if it is willing to do work with you. Never assume this. If it isn’t, take a step back to what I just mentioned. If it is, it’s a good idea to find out what kind of job it’d be best for doing. Small skulls could be turned into ritual adornment, while big skulls could be used to make ‘watch dogs’ disguised as decoration. If you live in rural areas, you’ve seen the bull skulls hung above barn doors. Little do those farmers know that long ago, those skulls were likely hung as a way of protection or apotropaic magic. Sometimes the spirit will make it known how it wishes to be used. You can also use the skull of an animal to house your familiar. If you purge the spirit out of the bone, your familiar can inhabit it. Or, conversely, you can adopt the spirit of that animal to be a sort of familiar. I’ve even seen cases where a witch’s familiar came this way. There is also the case of reddening the bones. To redden the bones is to give them breath, strength, and life again. You stain the bones red as blood. Many witches use red ochre when doing this, but I’ve also heard of using red wine, rowan berries, and even beets. This isn’t an absolutely necessary thing to do, but it can give extra power to the skull and spirit you’re working with.
Someone asked specifically about using a bluejay to go to Hell/the Underworld. In the States, it isn’t legal to own any parts of many native birds. However, it is possible to work with the spirit of an animal without owning the remains. What you need is a vessel. This can be a special jar, bottle, statue, or even a clear quartz. You’ll have to find the body or bone of the animal, place to vessel near it, and coax the spirit in. Once you have it, you can work with it. And how would you get the bluejay to take you to Hell? You lay down with the vessel, shut your eyes, and go flying with the spirit.
What other kind of work can be done with animal spirits? It all depends on the animal. A horse’s skull can be of great use to a witch, if they’re familiar with German witchery. They can be used to fly, to cross the hedge, and to severely curse an enemy’s land. A bird can keep a watchful eye and assist with flight. A fox can hex, steal, and spy. A bull will protect and attack those who threaten you. You can make the skull of a toad into a ring or the spine of a snake into a necklace for ritual. They will help give you power in your workings. Buck skulls can help in accessing the Wild Powers. The skull of a buck and ram are highly prized by traditional witches. It can give connection to the Man in Black.
Skulls are also a symbol of death in general. Even an empty one can be used to great effect in any necromantic working, including ones involving human spirits. It can be a key to the door between worlds. If it is the skull of a fox, toad, rabbit, or other messenger animal, it will do very well for amping up general necromantic workings.
These are the basics and beginnings to animal necromancy. It’s a good starting place for those interested in the oft tossed aside topic. Necromancy, however, deserves a word of caution perhaps more than other areas of witchery. The spirits can take vengeance on you if you mistreat them. It is best to comply with whatever spirit you’re attempting to make a relationship with. Do not be mistaken, they can be forced, but it will earn you a poor reputation and a vengeful ghost.
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I know you're busy so take your time with this ask! I was curious what you think everyone's spirit guardian would be (for the RFA plus maybe the minor trio?). A spirit guardian is usually in animal form, so it's kinda like a spirit animal in simple terms. It's a guardian that doesn't have to match the personality of the person, per se, but compliments them and challenges them to grow in some way.
What an interesting ask! Haven’t seen anything like this before
Zen: A bear
The bear stands for strength and confidence
Its for taking leadership, and take action without fear
Although Zen is often stereotyped as a confident narcissist, there is more to him than that. Because of his past, he needed to get more confident in himself, and a bear spirit would help to give him confidence and inner strength
This spirit animal can symbolize healing abilities, whether it’s at the physical, emotional or spiritual level
I think this would suit Zen, so he can grow into a more content and confident person on the inside as well what he shows people
Yoosung: A deer
The deer stands for gentleness, sensitivity and being able to get through obstacles in life
With its gentleness, grace and innocence, it would connect Yoosung to his inner self, and show him that he doesn’t have to be more “tough and manly” to be an adult, but rather accept his nature
With its ability to get through the bad times your life and move into a new “terrain”, it would help him come at ease with the whole Rika situation. Learning to accept that there are several different stages in life and not just focusing the one you’re in right now can be difficult, but the deer would show him how to do so without necessarily forgetting the other stages
Jumin: A panther
The panther stands for understanding of death, knowing the dark, and power
Even though he doesn’t act upon it, the whole situation did leave some impact on him. Seeing his best friend and leader of the group fall, and everything that happened before and after, must have made him somewhat closed off
It would help him understand what he really wants, what position in life he’d rather be in, and accept how things were before
It would help him really take the lead, and stand up for what he thinks is right
Seven: A fox
The fox stands for physical or mental responsiveness, seeing through deception and ability to find your way around
The fox is ofter seen as a trickster, but there is more intelligence and observation behind that than people thinks
It would help him to be more observant, and help him take wiser decision on an everyday basis
It also challenges him to move quick and swiftly, having confidence in that there is nothing more to do with what lies behind you. Of course, this doesn’t mean he should ignore his brother, but rather think more about what is really the best choice to make at the given moment
Saeran: A wolf
The wolf stands for sharp intelligence, deep connection with instincts, and wanting freedom
It would help him trust his instincts and accept the current situation. The wolf is similar to Saeran in that it wants to be alone, and has a hard time trusting people
However, it would help him be more free in a good way too, and help him be more sure of himself and what he wants
The wolf is known for being alone, but rather than just that, it could stand for knowing your personal boundaries and learning to accept that people are different in that area
V: A butterfly
The butterfly stands for powerful transformation, renewal/rebirth, and the world of the soul
A butterfly helps with important changes in your life. It would help make the impact a bit milder, and help him with the obvious pain the situation has led him to
It also stands for a certain innocence and lightness in life. It would help him see the world from a slightly different point of view, and remind him of his beliefs and peacefulness
It helps him show his true colours, and supports him in times of personal transformation
Vanderwood: A panda
The panda stands for gentle strength and nurturing ability
It would help him come at ease with himself, and accept things how they are. With its heart-centered energy, it would remind him to properly take care of himself and let him be at ease with who he is
As opposed to Vanderwood, the panda has a soft and kind-looking outside while being strong on the inside. With this contrast, Vanderwood being tough looking on the outside while maybe not so strong all the time on the inside, it would remind him that it’s ok to not always keep a strong mask while still being confident with himself and his choices
The panda also teaches the importance of personal boundaries, letting him know that its fine to keep his distance in order to be comfortable and gain healthy relationships with other people
Some people, especially trainers, think that because they have added positive reinforcement to their corrections and correction collars that they are more gentle and somehow “better.” Don’t get me wrong, I love that people are open to using food and toys. Wonderful. Great.
However, an animal’s ability to predict and have the perception of control over things that happen to them is what gives them a sense of calm and stability.
When a dog is sometimes getting food and sometimes corrected, it leads to unpredictability. The inability to control things is what leads to significant behavioural fallout.
My main point being that an “all quadrant” approach may be sold as using all the tools in a toolkit. However, if a dog is getting mixed messages, as usually happens, that just messes the dog up. For example, a dog is being reinforced for walking nicely around people. They may start to develop a positive association to strangers. But then, they pull to that stranger and get pinched with a prong collar. That very likely creates a negative association. So the dog isn’t just learning to walk nice. The dog is learning that sometimes when you see strangers good things happen and sometimes bad things. Strangers are bloody unpredictable and thus very concerning.
Very similar things happen when people do classical conditioning to strangers/dogs, and then the dog gets shocked on an electric fence as they approach passing strangers/dogs. Strangers/dogs are unpredictable. It happens when dogs are being reinforced for not jumping on people and then corrected for pulling to people.
A trainer doing such things is likely to say, “But the correction is for the behaviour.” Doesn’t matter. Associations are tied to skills - intertwined. When using physical discomfort and pain, the brain is wired to look for a reason in the environment to explain it. Which is why wonky negative associations from corrections usually form to what the dog was looking at during the correction.
No, you cannot avoid that by correcting “properly.”
In a city filled with cold, harsh stone, one section offers stark contrast to the rest of the prison many called home. Filled with trees and foliage, it is beautiful in it’s nature and serenity. In a clearing on the edge of sector six, among all the trees, is a tall structures that do not belong. Mushrooms, hundred times their normal height, tower tall over all those who are brave enough to venture close. There are many of them, all of them meeting in a broken circle. The gap between two rather large mushrooms however isn’t a failed design or empty placeholder for more shrubbery, but an entranceway. A large wooden sign welcomes many others who freely walk into the fairy ring, embraced by the sounds of laughter, wonderful smells, and the colors of spring…
What do men demand of Fortune: to banish need with plenty? The more your plenty the greater your care to house, maintain and guard it. Have you no personal good within yourself that you must seek external things to give you value? Do you, a reasoning man, only appear splendid to yourself in the possession of dead objects? Man is better than other things only when he knows himself; no other animal has this ability.
@cain-wasnt-abel sent me an ask on my main blog ( @the-queen-of-the-dragons ) requesting some tips for making Miraculous OCs after they saw my post saying I was always willing to help. This guide is over 1,300 words long and was written in an hour, so it’s all going under a read-more so people don’t get annoyed. I hope it helps!
Please note that there are also a few spoilers in my explainations.
When I watched My Hero Academia, I couldn’t help but notice that everyone’s favorite frog-themed hero had some remarkable similarities to everyone’s favorite spider-themed hero. Both can crawl on walls, both have something long and sticky they can use for various purposes, both have animal-themed abilities…
Granted, I don’t think we’ve seen Tsuyu actually use her tongue to swing from place to place (at least not that I can recall) but I wouldn’t rule it out.
30 Day Dungeons & Dragons Challenge - Day 3: Favorite Playable Class
Rangers have always been the jack-of-all-trades class in D&D. The can fight, but not as well as Fighters. They can be stealthy, but not as much as Rogues. They have some Animal and Nature abilities, but not as much as a Druid.
I’m not much a a wilderness person, but something about the outdoorsy style of the Rangers has always appealed to me.
Plus they usually get an animal companion and duel weapon fighting for free.
We sleep on our bellies with our wings folded together and back. It minimizes a fire hazard to the environment and grants us the most rest. Because our eyes are faceted, we do not have eyelids that close. You might notice they look darker at night though.
We can sleep while flying, but it isn’t ideal. It usually means we’ve been forced into it by a pokemon we’re battling, or we dozed off while our trainer was running around.
Bug-Type Pokemon are not like animals that are commonly called bugs, because insects and arachnids do not sleep, while Bug-Type Pokemon do. The only exceptions are Spinarak and Ariados with the Insomnia ability. Animal bugs go into a state called torpor instead.
New OC time! Meet Essa, one of Nya and Aric’s twin daughters and with those genes it’s no surprise that she’s a looker. Stubborn and rebellious, she spent a lot of her childhood idolizing her ‘Aunt’ Shawnni, @shimmer-like-agirl‘s Smuggler. Essa would always be drawn into adventures with Shawnni and Corso’s oldest daughter Lani, while their son Jaycen stayed close by in case they got into trouble.
Essa inherited her mother’s Force ability of Animal Bonding, getting along well with her family’s nexu pack. She’s usually seen with her best buddies, her akk dog Artie(short for Artichoke, named for his green scales) and her nexu runt Thistle.
Thistle is notorious for bossing Artie around, but the big lug is protective of the sassy nexu and their mistress, jumping in to fight for them…
This microscopic image shows the forest-like arrangement of hairs on a gecko’s toe that gives the animal its gravity-defying ability to scurry across ceilings.
Each foot has hundreds of thousands of these hairs, called setae, which fray into smaller hairs with split ends called spatulae. The hairs’ strong grip has inspired the design of medical adhesives.
This image was taken by Dennis Kunkel, a photomicrographer in Hawaii. It is part of Life: Magnified, an exhibition of scientific images on display at Washington Dulles International Airport’s Gateway Gallery from June to November.
“Educate yourself!” A phrase we eagerly throw around when someone we deem ignorant is saying something we disagree with. And it’s true, some people really need to educate themselves, in particular people who have taken it upon themselves to educate others.
But how do you educate yourself? I’ve seen the self-education a lot of people come up with… and it’s not pretty.
I don’t think anything infuriates an educator more than writing something informative based on science and facts, only to have someone contradict them with isolated-incident anecdotal “evidence”, as if that means all their research and science is wrong on that basis. It’s a bit like saying, “well I’m still alive, so clearly death is a myth.”
That is not someone who has educated themselves, but rather someone who has never evaluated anything critically, from all possible angles, before coming to an informed conclusion.
So, again… how do you educate yourself?
Read. But don’t read indiscriminately. Use discernment. Be critical. Don’t just look at the best seller list, or Oprah’s Book of the Month. Take a look at 1) what topic the book is discussing and 2) who is writing about it.
Before you even start reading the book, ask yourself:
Who is the author?
What are their qualifications to write on this subject?
Is this an anecdotal book or a scientific book?
How old is this book?
What do the author’s peers have to say about this book?
For example, I picked up the book “Animal Cognition: The Mental Lives of Animals” by Clive D.L. Wynne. I then turned to the back to read the summary.
“Can ravens count? How do pigeons find their way home? Can chimpanzees use language in a human-like fashion? These are the kinds of questions that occupy scientists interested in understanding animal minds. […] presents a fascinating account of animal intelligence and abilities, covering a wide range of key topics from language and communication to sensation and problem-solving. […] Clive Wynne reviews research on species ranging from fire ants to dolphins […] complex reasoning (do cats understand that objects hidden from view still continue to exist?), balanced by a critical stance towards some of the wilder claims found in the popular media.”
Now, what does it say about the author?
“Clive D.L. Wynne is an Associate Professor in Psychology, University of Florida, and studies cognition in species from pigeons to marsupials. He worked previously at universities in Australia, the USA and in Germany, and was educated at University College London and the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of numerous scholarly papers on animal learning and cognition, and is the editor of a book on models of animal behavior, Models of Action: Mechanisms for Adaptive Behavior.”
So, the author is a professor of psychology who has made numerous contributions to the scholarly world, and the book is handling a topic he is familiar with and has professional experience with. That’s already a good start. The publishing date is 2001, which is somewhat older, so the reader should be critical of the studies being referred to and make sure they are still considered valid.
The book contains several reviews from his peers—other professors and researchers from various universities—who agree that this book is an excellent source of information, which further indicates the author has a lot to offer on this subject.
With this information in mind, you can start reading, and as you read, continue to ask yourself the following questions:
How old is the study they are referring to? Is it still considered a valid source?
Are they even referring to any valid studies?
Are they using science and logic to make their argument, or relying on emotional manipulation?
Use critical thinking while reading. Don’t look for reasons to disagree or agree with the author, but simply pause and ask yourself, “is this a logical conclusion? Does this make sense?” To the best of your ability, try to put aside personal feelings on the subject, whether it’s about the author or about the subject matter.
When reading a book like this, I take notes. I make note of undeniable truths as they come, and I make note of the author’s personal musings and hypotheses. I also make note of my own personal musings based solely on the information provided.
Toward the end of the book, I look to see if I reached the same conclusion the author did, and if not, I ask myself why that is the case, and, if necessary, go back and re-read certain aspects that may have confused me, or that I simply may have misunderstood within the context of the book.
So, now I’ve read an educational book on a subject. I’ve worked through it, and fully understand the logic and science behind it. Am I done now? No. Now it’s time to move on to the next book, the next study, the next journal, and then another, and then another.
Also, I can’t just read books on animal cognition and call it a day. There are other book focuses that are closely affiliated that have to be studied as well: physiological behavior, ethics, animal science, and animal communication.
A book on “The Biology of Animal Stress” may have a stronger focus on overall animal welfare, and a book on “Animal Play” or “Principles of Animal Communication” may focus on overall body language and inter-species norms, but they all come together to create one big picture.
Educating yourself is a never-ending process. There will always be a new study to read, and a new theory to work through, and they may end up disproving something we previously regarded as fact.
Anatomy and physiology changes as animals evolve, and animal behavioral norms change as they adapt to an ever-changing domesticated life. We must always be willing to put aside what we once embraced, and acknowledge the truth.
That, is how you educate yourself, and it’s how you educate others.